Back Up Plans Can Hinder Success

Having a back up plan is usually considered wise. But according to surprising research from Wisconsin School of Business and Wharton, it can actually hurt your chances of achieving your goals.

Researchers instructed two groups to complete a task. Both groups were told how they’d be rewarded, but one group was encouraged to develop a back-up plan that would get them the reward even if they weren’t successful. The result: The group without the back-up plan performed better than the group with one. Further study revealed that having a back-up plan diminished the lesser-performing group’s desire to achieve success.

Now, despite of the outcome, the researchers don’t believe that preparing for failure is all bad. Instead, they recommend exploring ways to mitigate the negative impact of back-up planning, such as waiting until you’ve done everything you can to achieve your goal before conjuring up plan b.

Face to Face VS. Technology-Based Interviews

As more and more companies turn to technology-based job interviews, a recent George Washington University study finds that meeting candidates face to face results in better outcomes and satisfaction.

Video interviews ranked lowest, followed by computer and telephone interviews. The researchers believe that the absence of body language, eye contact and rapport building in videos may hurt a person’s chance of landing the job. The research team also found that candidates ranked potential employers lower, which they attribute to awkward camera angles, lag time and screen freezes.

They advise employers who use video and other technology driven interview tools to be mindful of video’s shortcomings, and think twice before passing over qualified candidates who make a less favorable impression on video compared to those who are interviewed in person.

Get the Most out of One-On-One Meetings

Regular one-on-one meetings with key staff is a great way to connect and motivate. They’re also a perfect opportunity to support and coach, tee up learning and developmental opportunities, and course correct, addressing problems before they move to the level of crisis.

To get the most out of one-and-one time:

  • Commit to meeting regularly – weekly, monthly, or an interval that makes practical sense. Block the time and honor your commitment.
  • Find the right venue – a space where you won’t be interrupted. If you’re delivering sensitive or bad news, privacy is warranted.
  • Set the meeting’s agenda and scope. Specify what you’ll cover -goals and plans; feedback; important issues and suggested solutions; progress updates; personal development; how the person feels about their role and contribution.
  • Finish with agreement on next steps. Identify which of you will be responsible for each item.